I ran my 18th marathon last September with my running bestie at my side the entire race. I literally turned to her before the gun went off and said, we don’t have to do this you know, we could just cheer people on at the finish line. She laughed and started her Garmin. At the finish, after crying with joy to be done, I hugged her and said “how about we go whale watching the next time I come to visit?” I told her was ready to take a significant break from marathon training and running. And for the first time, in the 10 years I’d been running full marathons, I actually meant it.
Much of my life, running and otherwise, has been spent wrangling with illusions of control. Mastery, to me, has always been a process of gaining control and discipline over something: thoughts, words, actions. There have been many times when this philosophy has yielded brilliant results in attaining personal and professional goals.